The Courage to Write (Plotober #7)

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Dear Plotters,

I’ve been having trouble writing this past week.  Oh, not plotting – no, the plotting is going well!  (Though there’s still a ton to do before the month ends. 💦)  And I’m excited to share a few more things with you all about Rondo of the Rising Sun, when Cloud and I have settled a few more things.  But aside from plotting, I’ve tried writing various things, including a few more article-type Plotober posts, and they’ve all fallen flat. Bleargh.

Well, I could claim I was blocked. Or I could just say that I wasn’t writing the right things.  And I’m inclined to think the latter – because when I logged into WordPress this morning and saw the last couple Daily Prompts, I felt something click.

The daily prompt today is Brave. Yesterday, it was Risky.  They both key into something that’s been at the back of my mind lately: how much courage it takes, sometimes, to create something, and then to share our creativity with the world.

And for a nice synchronicity, Shaun at Clockwork Clouds published a great post this week about “Trusting Ourselves and Our Audience.” It made me think, so today I thought I’d write some of these thoughts down.

Continue reading “The Courage to Write (Plotober #7)”

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Rondo of the Rising Sun Character Profiles #4: Luna (Plotober #6)

Inktober 6: Luna from Rondo of the Rising Sun

Dear Plotters,

Today we round out the first (?) batch of character profiles with Luna, the reserved & mysterious girl who is Lazuli’s friend!

Inktober 6: Luna from Rondo of the Rising Sun
“. . .”

Luna

  • Age: Early teens
  • The quiet, reserved type
  • She often hides inside her cloak
  • She can sneak past people without even trying to, but it’s not a skill she enjoys – on the contrary, she actually hates feeling “invisible”
  • Somehow, her stealth stat keeps going up with no effort on her part. . . .
  • Her preferred weapons are thrown weapons like small, swift daggers which allow her to stay further away from the fighting
  • She often goes out materials-hunting with Tiria
  • Lazuli is her best friend

Rondo of the Rising Sun Character Profile #3: Tiria (Plotober #5)

Inktober 5: Tiria from Rondo of the Rising Sun

Dear Plotters,

Character profiles continue with quest leader Tiria! With Tiria at the helm, all of the Rondo’s quests are sure to go well~!

Inktober 5: Tiria from Rondo of the Rising Sun
“We’ve got this!”

Tiria

  • Age: Early 20s
  • Quest leader of the Rondo
  • The energetic & reliable type
  • Her primary weapon is a spear, because it looks cool
  • Approaches everything she does with determination and enthusiasm
  • She helped Ruby form the Rondo during the crazy first weeks after they were trapped in The Third Turning
  • She prefers the easygoing, supportive vibe of the Rondo to the intensity of the hardcore gamers
  • Her secret skill is crafting

Rondo of the Rising Sun Character Profiles #2: Lazuli (Plotober #4)

Inktober 4 Lazuli (Rondo of the Rising Sun)

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Dear Plotters,

Time for another character profile! Today, it’s Lazuli, the “mascot” of the Rondo of the Rising Sun!

Inktober 4 Lazuli (Rondo of the Rising Sun)
“Don’t worry!  Let’s just take each day as it comes!”

Lazuli

  • Age: Early teens
  • Family: Ruby (older sister), Onyx (older brother)
  • The “mascot” of the Rondo, the optimistic little-sister type
  • Uses a short-sword for melee fighting
  • Through her optimism and gentle manner, she supports everyone in the guild
  • Wants to go home, but tries not to dwell on it so that she doesn’t bring the others down
  • Hates it when her sister – or anyone, really – has a frown
  • Her best friend is Luna
  • Like cooking and singing

Rondo of the Rising Sun Character Profiles #1: Ruby (Plotober #3)

Inktober 3 Ruby (Rondo of the Rising Sun)

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Dear Plotters,

This week for Inktober, I’m drawing larger portraits of the main characters of Rondo of the Rising Sun. So I’ll be sharing each girl’s character profile with you as I finish their portraits. :3  First up, we have the Rondo’s guild leader, Ruby!

Inktober 3 Ruby (Rondo of the Rising Sun)
“Beating the game is useless if we don’t survive. So we have to live.”

Ruby

  • Age: Early 20s
  • Family: Lazuli (younger sister), Onyx (younger brother)
  • The protective “big sis” and guild leader of the Rondo
  • Prefers to use long-range weapons to stay further away from the fighting, so her primary weapon is a longbow
  • She founded the Rondo as a way for the four of them to support each other and other players while they are trapped in the game world
  • Likes to feel that the situation is under control
  • Hates not knowing where the others are

What Makes a “Good” Character? Some Points to Remember When Designing Engaging Characters (Plotober #2)

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Dear Plotters,

There is an age-old debate about which is more important to the art of storytelling: character or plot.  Each side has its merits, of course, and each side its pitfalls.  I don’t really want to get into that today; suffice to say, I fall on the character side of the debate, as I believe that plot evolves from the character’s actions, and that any amount of fancy plotting is essentially useless if it’s just to move sock puppets around.  So for the first phase of Plotober, I’ve decided to focus on character development and really get to know Ruby, Lazuli, Tiria, Luna, and the other characters that inhabit the world of Rondo of  the Rising Sun.

So for the past few days, Cloud and I have been talking & debating while trying to nail down their characters.  I think we’re getting pretty close!  I’ll share their profiles when they are done – but in the meantime, let’s talk about something that is close to mind: what makes a good character.

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Just as there is debate over character vs. plot, there is debate over what makes a good character – or rather, a well-written one.  It’s important to note here that in this debate, there is a clear divide between readers and writers.  Readers are wont to pick the characteristics that resonate most with them, and hold that up as a holy grail of “good” characters.  As a reader myself, I fall into this trap. However, as writers, it might help to take a more concrete definition. And after giving it much thought, here’s my definition:

A good, well-written character is one that is flawed, that grows over time, and that genuinely connects with the audience.

Sounds simple, right? And it should be.  Let’s look at it point-by-point.

Continue reading “What Makes a “Good” Character? Some Points to Remember When Designing Engaging Characters (Plotober #2)”

Announcing our NaNoWriMo 2017 Project: Rondo of the Rising Sun! (Plotober #1)

Plotober graphic. Made by River using photo resource from Mark Levin.

Dear Plotters,

Happy 1st week of October!  You know what that means, right?  NaNoWriMo is only twenty-odd days away. . . and today Cloud and I are happy to announce our NaNoWriMo 2017 project:

The Third Turning: Rondo of the Rising Sun

Rondo of the Rising Sun cover - wip!
Rondo of the Rising Sun cover – wip!

Genre: Fantasy / Slice-of-Life

Summary: Trapped in a game world with no hope of getting home until the final boss is beaten, what are you supposed to do when you know you aren’t a hero? Ruby, Lazuli, Tiria, and Luna – together the guild Rondo of the Rising Sun – may not have all the answers, yet they work every day to make lives worth living, even in the dangerous world of The Third Turning.

We’ve had the idea for Rondo of the Rising Sun for about a year now, and we’re chomping at the bit to finally start it!  Only one problem: We could probably know a little more about the story, our characters, and especially the world.  Since the main storyline takes place within the MMORPG The Third Turning, we want to carefully consider this world and develop it well, so we can describe it with ease.  Character development, world building, and (of course) plotting – these are some of the topics we will discuss this month for Plotober!

If you are doing NaNoWriMo 2017 – or if you’re writing a book in general – I hope you’ll join us this month for Plotober!  Please join us on our journey as we figure out what this world is supposed to be.  And if you like, post your own progress, or talk about your process, on your blog or social media and tag it Plotober or #Plotober.  Happy Plotting!